Jan 29, 2015
Opening Doors Online

By Ryan Johnson

At Wayzata (Minn.) High School, a mandate to update all Web sites got this strength coach thinking about the many uses of online communication. It also led to a new motivational tool for his athletes.


Back to school time means different things to different people. For my four kids, a big focus was buying all of their school supplies in time for the first day (and hauling them into school). For a friend of mine that teaches in the history department, it meant leading his students in a discussion on the topic of 9/11, which he told me are not quite the same as time moves on.

For me in the strength and conditioning department at Wayzata High School, I faced a request from central office administrators. They told me our district wanted to upgrade every Web page in the system. I have been adding bits and pieces to our Trojan Power Web site over the years. But I have not overhauled it in a long time.

The directive from the district was a good prompt for me to think about our Web site. One thing I really like about having an online presence is that it allows people from anywhere and everywhere to inquire about what we do at Wayzata and what I have written. I appreciate the feedback and love to share ideas with people from all over the country.

For example, several former students have asked about using our workouts in college. It was easy and very efficient for me to simply post them online.

Just the other day I received an e-mail from a fellow teacher/coach in Indiana asking about the set-rep conversion charts that I had also posted on our site to accompany the workouts. But they were now gone from the site. He mentioned that they were a big asset to his class and was hoping I could re-post them. After a couple of phone calls I was sent a link to our old site and I found the data. I sent an e-mail to the coach with the attachments so that he could have them for whenever he needed them.

The coach replied back, thanking me and telling me the chart has really become a big item to him and his athletes in the last year. In fact they call it “Conquer the Column,” and use the charts as a motivational as well as an organizational tool. He thanked me so much for sharing them from one coach to another.

Well, that e-mail exchange ended up helping me. We now have something new in our weightroom, which some would have thought was old. I have posted the set-rep chart with the “Conquer the Column” heading, and Wayzata athletes are now being motivated to conquer the column themselves.

Going back to school should be exciting and motivational. Thanks to a push from central administrators, and an online conversation with a peer, my athletes are excited and motivated to be in the weightroom as we begin the year.

Ryan Johnson is Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Wayzata (Minn.) High School. He is also a frequent blogger for T&C. He can be reached at: [email protected].

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